Taking Stock: Progress on the Theory of Change


As Fund for Shared Insight’s evaluation and learning partner, ORS Impact uses Shared Insights’ theory of change as an evaluation tool to facilitate collective learning and inform decision-making. This report reviews Shared Insight’s progress in the last 18 months, especially against implementation markers and outcomes identified in the updated theory of change. Using secondary data from multiple sources within Shared Insight, along with interviews with key staff members, ORS holds up the mirror and provides a high-level assessment of progress to date. This report summarizes the analysis process, key takeaways, and considerations for Shared Insight moving forward.

Among the findings:

  • Four of Shared Insight’s strategies — building a feedback field; building non-profit feedback practice; experimenting and innovating; and core funders “walking the walk” — are either on target or trending upward, although in two of those areas progress feels tenuous and at risk without continued attention and support.
  • A fifth Shared Insight strategy — to build foundation feedback practices — is slightly off track, but a recent hire to support funder-engagement work suggests potential.
  • The process to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion lenses throughout Shared Insight’s work and approach is strong, but there are still opportunities to grow and improve.
  • Among the important considerations for Shared Insight: What does meaningful engagement mean to different funders given their own journeys, resource allocations, and overall alignment with Shared Insight’s goals? What are opportunities for all funders to meaningfully engage?
  • Shared Insight could revise and reduce its implementation markers to improve the utility of its theory of change as a management and evaluation tool.


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Taking Stock: Progress on the Theory of Change by ORS Impact is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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